Mercedes has been at the forefront of a possible regulation change in the 2022 championship after the newly introduced ground-effect 2022 cars showed signs of porpoising early in the season. The Silver Arrows struggled to compete at the front due to violent bouncing issues and a lack of performance. The German outfit pushed for a possible regulation change in order to reduce/eliminate the porpoising in F1 cars. The FIA finally intervened after the Azerbaijan GP after drivers complained about the violent bouncing. The sport’s governing body introduced a new technical regulation. However, the regulation change was delayed due to some teams criticizing the change. There were also some concerns about Red Bull and Ferrari finding a floor regulation loophole.
As a result, the FIA is set to made some changes, and the new technical regulations are to come into effect during the Belgian GP. However, before that, the FIA has decided that a team vote needs to be organized to make a decision about the proposed rule changes. The news has come as a huge blow for Mercedes. They were hoping to get an advantage with the regulation amendments.
Mercedes have faced the worst effects of porpoising and were left in the middle of nowhere. They are the third-fastest team this season and have been struggling to meet Ferrari and Red Bull’s pace. The Silver Arrows have been the constructors’ champions for the last eight seasons. But, they are currently in the third spot in the rankings behind the two frontrunners. The FIA proposed that the teams would have to raise their cars’ floor edges to 25mm for the 2023 season.
However, the increased height would compromise performance as the ground-effects cars run faster when close to the ground. The proposed regulation change had mixed reactions from the teams, with Ferrari and Red Bull accusing Mercedes of lobbying for a change to get back in the championship. However, the Silver Arrows pointed out that porpoising is harmful to the drivers, and the frequencies generated by the bouncing could cause brain damage.
FIA To Organize A Voting Over Regulation Changes
Amid all the drama, the FIA is considering organizing voting on the issue at the World Motorsport Council. Thus, if the majority of teams voted against the changes, there might not be any new technical regulations in Spa. The FIA does not need to hold a vote and can make the decision themselves. However, the sport’s governing body is looking to make some kind of compromise between the teams to find a feasible solution without affecting much of the cars’ performances.
Meanwhile, Red Bull boss Christian Horner expressed concerns over a possible regulation change so late in the season. The Briton insisted that it is too late to make huge changes in the regulation under the cost caps structure. Horner felt the FIA president is doing the right thing in his attempt to find a sensible solution. However, it is too late to make fundamental regulation changes. The 48-year-old concluded, “In the end, I think we will make a compromise choice, as it almost always happens in situations like this.”